So you decided to get a dog and you found your perfect pup. Congratulations! This is a very exciting time for both you and your new furry roommate. Bringing a dog home for the first time is such a wonderful and rewarding experience. However, it can also be a little jarring for people if it’s their first time. You might find yourself nervous and over-thinking a lot about the new situation. I’d like to share some insight on what you can help to do to make it go as smoothly as possible:
How should I prepare my apartment?
First, preparing your house/apartment! Decide where you’d like the dog to be able to roam. It can be the entire house, only the downstairs area, or just a few rooms, whatever is your preference, but make sure you set those boundaries from the beginning so as not to confuse the dog! When decided, plan accordingly with gates.
What are the best toys to purchase?
Be parent of the year and have a shmorgasborg of toys waiting for your puppy when they arrive at their new home. Even though having a family and a home bring a great amount happiness to a pet, why stop there? Having toys is a wonderful way to bond with your dog, but more importantly, it is a great stress reliever for your pet. Toys are fun, distracting, and can get rid of the stress of a new environment. Especially with younger dogs, if they are anxious, they will most likely find a place to chew so if you provide a healthy and appropriate option, you, your pet, and your furniture can all stay happy!
What should I use for a bed?
You know that feeling after a long night out and all you can think about is jumping into your amazing bed? Make sure your dog has that feeling too! Have a nice comfy spot for your dog to claim their area. This will help them feel comfortable and not overwhelmed in their new home. Some dogs prefer a fluffy bed, an opened crate with blankets, and some like to improvise! I had a dog who preferred to make a bed out of laundry rather than the top of the line bed we provided him. Whichever it is for your pet, it is a trial and error experience. Try out different options so you can know what your dog prefers.
Should I let my dog explore the house?
Finally, when you first get home, let your dog roam and explore! This is now their house too and they want to get to know it. Give them time and space to sniff out every corner. There will be so many strange and new smells that they need to get used to. Dogs are very curious and by letting them roam they will start to know the lay of the land, so let them come to you. Remember to be patient with this process, for certain dogs it can take time for them to really warm up to a new home. Show them lots of affection once they get comfortable and they will realize how special of a place they have landed themselves. This is such an exciting time so remember to relax, be patient, and have fun with it!
Author: Eleanor Clowe, B.A., Masters in Animal Behavior, Expected 2016